Ankara will closely monitor legal proceedings against the perpetrators of an incident at a NATO drill in Norway, Turkey’s Foreign Ministry said Friday.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was depicted as an “enemy collaborator” during the drill.
The incident amounted to a "regrettable, immoral and unacceptable situation," said a ministry statement.
"Our embassy in Oslo is also undertaking necessary initiatives with the Norwegian authorities and the NATO military authorities in Norway," said the statement.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has also apologized to Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, it added.
"The necessary criminal proceedings” against the perpetrators “will be monitored closely," the ministry said.
Immediately after the incident, Turkey withdrew from the Trident Javelin exercise, Erdogan announced earlier Friday, adding a portrait of Turkey’s founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk was also shown in the ‘hostile leader list’ during the computerized drill by NATO.
“There can be no alliance like that,” he said.
Turkish prosecutors are also probing the incident.
"An investigation has been launched by the Chief Public Prosecutor's Office against the perpetrator or perpetrators due to insulting and humiliating Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of the Republic of Turkey, and our President Recep Tayyip Erdogan during a NATO joint exercise in Norway," said the Ankara Public Prosecutor’s Office in a statement.
Following the incident, Stoltenberg apologized to Turkey in a written statement as well as to Turkish Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar in a face-to-face meeting in Canada.